What Resource Guarding Has Taught Me About Wanting New Stuff
Enjoy what you have. That’s it. If I had to choose one big lesson I’m learning from Laika’s resource guarding it’s to keep it simple and enjoy what we already have.
Why Do I Keep Buying These Things For My Dog?
My dog fixates on dog bones & chews. It doesn’t matter what they’re made of, what they smell like or what color they are. If it’s bigger than a roll of pennies she’s going to guard it.
Last week I bought some dental chews. She guarded them.
I had a feeling that might happen, yet I bought they anyway. These silly items I buy for her “benefit” cause her stress, yet I keep doing it.
So I’ve decided to stop. Enough is enough, we don’t need new stuff. I brush Laika’s teeth every day and they’re in great shape, she doesn’t need dental chews.
And just because I have a dog blog doesn’t mean I have to buy new products to try them out. I don’t even like writing reviews anyway. This blog has been around for nearly 2 years and I’ve done 3 reviews total.
I don’t get it. Why am I so compelled to try out new dog stuff?
With Resource Guarding Everything Has to be Treated Individually
The crappy thing about resource guarding is that each resource needs to be treated individually. Her food & toy guarding issues under control, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to giving her a bone, bully stick or one single dental chew.
And while I’d love to be able to give Laika a bone or chew from time to time I keep asking myself – is it really worth all that trouble?
I keep buying these things, and she keeps guarding them. Every new bone or chew becomes something to fixate on. I thought we’d be over this by now, but unfortunately resource guarding doesn’t just “go away,” it requires management.
Anytime she finds something new & exciting she’s back to guarding. I’ll get her comfortable around bully stick A but as soon as bully stick B comes around she’s back to guarding.
Do I want to work for weeks (maybe months) on end to manage her resource guarding around each new bone? The end result is awesome, yet I wonder if the stress on her during the process is worth the satisfaction of having one more item around.
She’s not happy when she gets in that guarding state, and neither am I.
So rather than trying out all these new dog products I’m reminding myself to start enjoying the stuff we have. Laika’s already there. She loves her stuff, even if it’s old, especially when we make stuff more fun by basing a game around it.
When I want to keep her busy inside I’m going to stuff a Kong rather than give her a new chew toy. It’s simple, reliable, and it doesn’t cause either of us to stress out.
I’m Going to Focus on Enjoying What We Have
Laika isn’t asking for new stuff, I’m the one with shiny new object syndrome.
I know dogs find new stuff exciting, but that doesn’t mean what we have can’t be made more fun. We’ve played the same games hundreds of times yet she still enjoys them.
A game of tug, hide & seek or a Kong stuffed with carrots; they’re all still exciting to her.
I mix it up. We play different games each day, and I keep her toys interesting by rotating them. We have fun with what we have.
I know this in my mind, yet I still keep picking up new dog products…Why?
Even if Laika didn’t have guarding tendencies I’d be better off reusing what we have. How much “stuff” do we really need anyway? It’s so easy to focus on the new, and forget all the great stuff that’s already right in front if you.
I certainly don’t love resource guarding, but at least I’m learning one important lesson from it; enjoy what you have.
And maybe, just maybe, by writing this I’ll remember to put down that shiny new bone at the store and remind myself; we’ve already got plenty of fun stuff at home.
Are You Compelled to Buy New Dog Stuff?
Am I alone on this? Why do I feel the urge to try out new dog products all the time? Do you have shiny new object syndrome when it comes to dog toys?